The PRA is urging retailers to respond to a request for evidence from the HM Treasury as the Government prepares to ask the European Commission for an extension to the rural fuel rebate scheme.

The Treasury is asking petrol retailers around the UK to send them information relating to charges for petrol and diesel.

The rural fuel rebate scheme currently enables retailers in a handful of remote rural island areas to claim back 5 pence per litre (ppl) on fuel sales, so their customers are not disadvantaged by higher fuel costs.

Retailers of road fuel within the areas concerned can register with HMRC to claim 5ppl relief on fuel purchased on or after 1 January 2012 for onward retail sale. Retailers can make claims on a monthly basis and have 60 days following registration to reduce the cost of every litre of road fuel sold by the equivalent amount of the relief claimed. This is so that all consumers in the areas concerned benefit from the reduction in fuel duty. The 60-day period during which retailers are not required to pass on the relief is designed to help avoid initial cash flow problems.

Government plans to submit a proposal in support of scheme expansion, along with evidence gathered via this call for information, over the autumn.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: “The island fuel rebate provides much needed help to keep down fuel prices in areas where costs of transporting fuel mean prices are much higher. I know that there are other remote rural areas of the UK with similarly high fuel costs.

“So we are starting to gather further evidence that will form part of an application to the Commission to extend the island fuel duty discount scheme to very remote rural areas.

“We will need to prove that there are areas which are similar to the islands in terms of pump prices and distribution costs, so I would urge local areas that may qualify to provide the information we need to make the case as robust as possible.”

HM Treasury is currently welcoming evidence from the following counties: Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Herefordshire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Monmouthshire, Powys, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, Highland, Moray, Perth and Kinross, Scottish Borders, South Ayrshire, Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Cookstown, Dungannon, Down, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Omagh, Strabane.

However, it added that the list is not exhaustive and that any petrol retailer with fuel prices consistently above those listed below is also welcome to submit evidence.

October 2012

Ordinary unleaded 144ppl

Diesel 148.5ppl

November 2012

Ordinary unleaded 143ppl

Diesel 148ppl

December 2012

Ordinary unleaded 139ppl

Diesel 145.5ppl

To find out more or to download a document for submitting your evidence click here